Sunday’s PG included the letter “Presbyterians’ Stand Against Injustice Should Be Lauded.” It referenced U.N. Resolution 242, passed on Nov. 22, 1967, and contained a number of errors.
The U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 242 five months after the defensive Six-Day War. The U.N. Charter provided for two options under which it could be passed. Chapter VI of the charter calls for nations to negotiate a settlement, whereas Chapter VII allows the United Nations to enforce its resolutions. It passed under Chapter VI allowing for negotiations between the parties.
It took five months to pass 242 because intensive negotiations over the wording were needed to meet the demands of the Arabs and Israelis. Nothing in 242 requires Israel to withdraw from all land captured and nowhere does it brand Israel as an unlawful occupier. In fact, in almost every other land dispute, the United Nations describes it as “contested or disputed territory.” If Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) were indeed “occupied territory” there could be no grounds to negotiate new borders.
In 1947 the United Nations created a partition plan to create an Arab state, but the Arabs rejected it. The land became “unallocated.” In the war of 1948 against Israel, Jordan captured the West Bank and occupied it illegally until 1967. International law, the U.N. Charter and Article 80 of the U.N. Charter implicitly recognize the right of Jews to settle anywhere between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. The only time in history when Jews were not allowed to live in the West Bank was from 1948 to 1967. In fact, 90 percent of cities referenced in the Bible were located in the West Bank.
Under the Israelis, Arabs were exposed to better medical care, infant mortality declined, life expectancy of Arab men and women increased, there are more cities with running water than any Arab country in the Middle East, and when handed over to the Palestinian Authority in 1993, the area was among the fast-growing economies in the world. What’s wrong with that?
It is a shame that a small group in the Presbyterian Church (USA) has poisoned its membership. The passing of the resolution for disinvestment by the church is nothing but hatred against Israel and the Jewish people and is a black eye on hundreds of thousands of good members of the church.
STUART V. PAVILACK
Zionist Organization of America — Pittsburgh